And the ‘ Gerrit Cole should get called up to the Pittsburgh Pirates ‘ speculation begins in 3, 2, 1. With southpaw Wandy Rodriguez exiting today’s game after getting just one out against the Atlanta Braves, the calls for Cole to join the Buccos is only a natural reaction.
It’s hard to imagine the Pirates actually making the move, but it’s fun to imagine just what Cole could do for a team that desperately needs some good news and the man with the highest upside pitching talent in the organization. The team has run on hope and luck for some time now. High strand rates, big strikeout ratios from unlikely sources and a bullpen that has continually rescued starters from short outings.
The Bucs have received solid work from all of the names that have been added to the rotation this season. But the question is, if Rodriguez is indeed seriously hurt which all signs pointed to after he called out the trainer from the dugout, who is coming up to help the rotation?
Remember, Jeanmar Gomez is down.
Now, it’s likely Rodriguez is down.
When the news about Rodriguez started making the rounds, nearly everyone mentioned Gerrit Cole before Electric Stuff, JMac, or Big Andy. It’s only a natural reaction to a situation that screams for a quality pitcher to be added to the rotation. Not Morton yet. Not McDonald. Not Oliver.
The fanbase understands what is at stake. The Bucs have started hotter than hell. The team is ten games over .500, cooling recently thanks to being swept by Atlanta and being outplayed by the Reds after a solid series against the Tigers put the Bucs at 14-games over .500.
It was a start that few expected and now the team must do what it hasn’t done in 20 years. Finish.
So naturally, all eyes turned to Cole at Triple-A Indianapolis.
We played along too and went over to MiLB.
Heh….Wow. It appears that Cole got the news too.
Through five inings Cole had thrown 65 pitches with 42 going for strikes. No runs against the tough Durham Bulls. Two hits. Threee strikeouts.
It took him ten pitches to get through the sixth and as we saw the MiLB.com feed, Cole was rolling. A flyout and two groundouts which evened the big right-hander up at six each on the day.
In the seventh, Cole quickly got the solid hitting Vince Belnome to flyout. Then Cole retired uber prospect Wil Myers on another flyout. Up stepped Shelley Duncan with Cole’s pitch count at 85.
Then three balls, a called strike two made it a full count.
A foul ball and then ball four. It was Cole’s first walk of the ballgame.
Cole followed it up with a first pitch heater to Brandon Guyer. The Bulls left-fielder fouled off four pitches before singling to right field.
But that’s where Jerry Sands plays and he has a hose. Cole’s 18.2 consecutive scoreless inning streak would remain intact as Sands gunned down Duncan at third base to end the inning.
And maybe, just maybe an end to Gerrit Cole’s minor league career.